Rowers / scullers - I'm am 5'4, 100 lbs, started rowing Tuesday, am I too small to ever be successful?

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Obviously, I plan on working my HARDEST and gaining weight/muscle mass, though I already do have some muscle from skiing (I have skiied every weekend this winter, including missing school what probably equals 21 days of skiing) and horseback riding. Am I too short / small to ever be a great rower?




  1. The taller you are, the more water you move. You can try to make up for that with hard work, but someone that is 6' will have a huge advantage over you on every single stroke that they take.

    I hate to tell you this, but you are probably the size of a coxswain. If you are a freshman, you might grow out before you graduate from high school, but the coach is probably just going to eye you up and put you at coxswain.

    If you do grow a couple inches though, you might be a good light weight.

    I just realized that if you are a girl, it is probably completely different. You are a girl, right? Everything else I said before is still true, but most girls are shorter then most guys.

  2. While it is true that the average female Olympian is probably about 6' tall, that having exceptionally long arms is a definite plus, and that athletes with great lung capacity and phenomenal aerobic fitness levels have a clear advantage, you can still become a very good rower, especially in the lightweight category (under 130 pounds, I believe).  It is my experience (as a non-lightweight rower!) that lightweights can often row as fast as heavyweights because they have been forced to learn better technique in order to compete and because their strength-to-weight ratio is better than that of heavier rowers.

    It is also true that your light weight would make you an excellent candidate for the coxswain position--if that suits your temperament and if you learn the skills, you would be a highly desired member of the crew.  

    Lucky you--you have choices!

  3. You are about my size, and I am a coxswain. If you only want to be a part of the team, it might be better for you to try this approach to crew.


    There is a girl on my team that coxed last year, and is rowing this year. She is a little taller, maybe 5'6'' or 5'7', but she is still just as skinny and light as a coxswain. She is rowing in the bow pair of an eight-man shell, and she works hard and adds speed to the boat.

    So yes, you can be a rower, but you will need to have nearly perfect technique. You sound like you have to motivation, and I wish you the best! I'm sure you'll do well with whatever you choose to do!

  4. Try Being a coxswain and you can get your workout by doing ergging work outs with the team or maybe skulling when there are enough coxswains.  If you go 2 rowing compitions they have a coxswain catorgie for ergging.

    Let me tell you i'm a coxswain and it's the grestest job in the world...  It all depends on you age as well... you may have some growing in your future.  I'm 5'4" and 116 lb and i'm on a universitys mens team.  Right now your thinner then most coxswains.

    Mens Coxswains: 120 LB

    Womans Coxswains: 110

    if your smaller the boat gets sandbags

    so who knows depending on your ag maybe you'll grow but give coxing a try and row on the side.  When rowers see you rowing and ergging you will recieve more respect then most coxswains out there.

    Great choice in choosing a sport

    Much Love

    Coxie Megan

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